Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Economics of Blog Post Frequency

Loyal friend and reader Justin recently asked me this:
Do you think more people read a blog post if you don't publish anything new for a few days after it?
This made me to think through what might influence the possibility of a particular post being read by people who are already regular readers. So like any good economist, I've tried to put it into an equation. The variables I've come up with are Quality of Post Title (T), Quality of First Sentences (F), Quality of Recent Posts (P), Length (L), Time Until Next Post (N) and the Number of Readers Not Using a Feed Aggregator (A). Here's the equation:
Likelihood of Being Read by Regular Readers = T + F + P - L + (N x A)
So to answer Justin's question, I think the timing of the next post does affect the probability that a post will be read, but only for readers who don't subscribe to the feed and just check the site every so often.


  1. Oh Harrison. Leave it to you to come up with an equation like that to answer, "it depends". ; )

    Read this article and thought of you. More my speed of economic experiments.

  2. That equation doesn't look like my reading function at all ...mine looks more like this:

    PR = Personal Relationship (Jesus=1.0, spouse=.99, bitter enemy~.85, person I've never met=0)

    TI = Topic Interest (scale from 0-1)

    BRI (blog-reading-index) = PR + TI
    Where I read any post with a BRI >= 1

    Note that frequency of posts and quality of posts have no effect on the likelihood of my reading a post.

  3. But there must be some part of quality inside the TI part. But you must also note you aren't the typical reader. Your frequency alone seems to be in spurts (as you can see by the 4 comments you left in the last 10 minutes on posts over the last 2 weeks).

    But don't let that stop you from adding your unique comments. Thanks for the input.

  4. So Ed, can you shortcut the math for me and tell me whether or not it matters to you if I post twice in the same day?

  5. Oh and by the way, welcome back to the internet.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.